Our Beliefs

We explicitly affirm our beliefs in these Bible Teachings:

God

There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit- each of whom possess equally all the attributes of Deity and the Characteristics of personality. (Matt. 28:10; John 10:30; Acts 5:3,4,; 2 Cor. 13:14)

God the Father

God the Father is the functional head of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He sent the Son to obtain satisfaction for divine justice and to proclaim reconciliation. The Spirit He sent to teach the truth. He is spoken of as the Father of all creation, of angels, of Israel, of believers, and of Christ. (John 14-17, 20:17; Job 1:6; Psalms 103:13)

Jesus

Jesus is God, the Living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever. He lived a sinless life, and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitution, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trusted in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified in which He lived and died. He ascended bodily into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, and there He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. (Matt. 1:20; John 1:1-2, Luke 1:34-35; Heb. 4:15; 1 Cor. 15; Acts 1:9-11; 1John 2:1).

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth, baptizes them in the body of Christ, and seals them until the day of Redemption. (John 16:8-11; Titus 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:19; Romans 8:9b; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 5:22-23). Man: man was originally created in the image of God, both male and female He created them. Man sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. The historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation. Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:26-27; Eph. 2:1; Romans 1:8, 3:10-20, 23 5:12, 7:21-25).

Salvation

The salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace, and is not the result, in whole or part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness in those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight. (Rom. 6:23; Eph 2:8-9: John 3:16; Titus 3:5-8). It is a privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word. The Holy Spirit’s fullness, power and guidance are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith. (Romans 5:9-10. 8:1, 29-30, 38-39; John 5:24. 10:27-30; Phil 1:6; Heb. 7:25; Jude 24).

Christian Life

The Scriptures set out the principles and rules of the Christian life. Believers are called to live so in the power of the indwelling Spirit that they will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God. (Rom. 12:1,2; Gal. 5:16-26; 1 Thes. 4:1-12, 5:12-24). Believers are commanded to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and disciple men of every nation. (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). Believers are commanded to love God and love one another rather than to pursue a life of worldly or selfish ambitions. (Matt. 22:37-40; John 15:8-17; 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 2:20; 1 john 2:15-16 1 John 4:7-12).

The Church

Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have joined to Him through saving faith. God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification throughout the Scriptures, and for mutual encouragement. The two ordinances of the Church are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Col. 1:18; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25)

Death

At physical death, the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of the body to everlasting glory and blessing. (1 Cor. 15:12; 2 Cor. 5:1010; Phil. 1:23; John 12:26). At physical death, the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of the body to everlasting judgment and condemnation. (Eph. 2:12; matt. 25:31-46; Luke 16:19-26; Rev. 20:11-15) Jesus Christ will come again to the earth personally, visibly, bodily-to consummate history and fulfill the plan of God. (Rev. 19:11-16; Zech. 14:4-11; 1Thess. 1:9-10)

The Scriptures

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord Who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.

 

 

Man

God made man – male and female – in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.

The Gospel

Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel; His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.

Man’s Response to the Gospel

The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works. While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple. A response to the gospel is enabled solely by the drawing of the Holy Spirit in an individual’s life. This gospel of grace is to be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people and all nations.

Man’s Inheritance Through the Gospel

Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.

Sanctification

The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith, knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end, which is most certain.

Empowered by the Spirit

The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner (1 Cor. 14). The gifts are essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.

The Church

God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship, and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer.

All members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the Church (including prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.

Ordinances of the Church

Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin.

As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.

The Consummation

The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, Who makes all things new.